Tag Archives: New Year

Christmas Chutney

We love chutney and love to have them around at Christmas/New Year time. One of our favourite Chutney’ s around this time is the one we are about to share. It’s also a fantastic gift and we have always had good comments when giving them as gifts.

We have enjoyed this Chutney with many things from in sandwiches to with crackers, vegan paté and other sides. This Chutney is loved by all so you don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy it, for example it’s great with cheese, meat etc if your an omnivore or vegetarian.

Christmas Chutney

Serves 9-10 lbs yield approx | Prep up to 1 hour (20 mins needed to soak fruit, can be done in advance to save time) | Cook 30-40 mins approx | Time needed to sterilise jars | Can be eaten straight away but also can benefit from time to mature

Ingredients

2 lbs/900 g Onions, chopped
2 lbs/900 g Cooking Apples, chopped
340 g Cranberries
2 pints Cider Vinegar
2 oz/50 g Fresh Root Ginger (before peeling), finely diced
1 tbsp Coarse Sea Salt
1 tsp Mixed Spice
Zest of 2 Oranges

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2 lbs Dried Apricots, chopped (naturally dried preferred but if you can’t find get what you can)
175 g Dates, pitted and chopped
1 lbs Raisins
1 pint Orange Juice (Buy high quality juice) or juice of 8 oranges

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2 lbs White Sugar

Method

1.) Place all the first ingredients in a saucepan (we use a preserving pan, you need a large pan) and bring to the boil. The object is to let the onions go transparent, the cranberries start to pop and the apple break down. You don’t want to loose all the texture so a 5 minutes simmer once at boiling point should do. Remember to stir.

2.) In a separate bowl mix the dried fruit and pour over the orange juice. Stir well. The mixture should absorb all the orange juice in approximately 20 minutes. This stage can be done in advance to save cooking time.

3.) Add the marinated fruit to the saucepan and add the sugar. Stir well and bring back to boiling point, stirring all the time. Don’t leave the saucepan at this time as the contents might catch and taint the chutney. The free liquid will start to thicken quite quickly and then the chutney can be jarred.

4.) This Chutney can be enjoyed now or you can leave it for a while to mature. This Chutney will keep for up to a year if sealed correctly and once opened will last for up to 4 weeks in the fridge. These are just guidelines so if you are worried about the chutney avoid. We have found once opened it can last longer, it just depends but we have to say we’ve eaten it by then anyway!

How to clean and sterilise jars

We steralise our jars by first washing them, we use a dishwasher but you can do this by hand just make sure you rinse well. Then we put the jars and lids (separately) on a tray and put them in the oven on 100°c for 30 minutes. If you have a jam funnel do this as well, if not don’t worry and just use a clean spoon (don’t add the spoon to the oven) you can always pour boiling water over the spoon before using. Use the jars while they are hot. Just be careful when adding the chutney to the jars by minimum touch as your trying to keep it as sterilised as possible. If you are using jars with pop down lids then the lids should pop which creates the seal. If you don’t have lids then use the waxed paper way to seal the jars.

Mincemeat

Every year we always make our own mincemeat and often we make enough for gifts too. They have always been a huge hit as gifts and everyone comments on how good it tastes. We just love it and this year have enjoyed some very yummy mince pies with our homemade mincemeat.

We thought we’d share the recipe with you, it’s from an old traditional cook book and its a much loved recipe. Obviously we made it vegan but that was easy to do as all we had to do was use vegetable suet instead of beef suet and to make sure the alcohol we were using was suitable for  vegans and that was pretty much it to make it vegan. We’d like to add that as previous omnivores we always thought stupidly that changing  the suet to veg suet would make it taste not as good. How wrong we were, seriously you don’t notice at all and it tastes just as good/the same.

Mincemeat

Serves 4 1/2 – 5 lb yield approx | Prep 15 mins | Time 48 hours plus time to mature (recipe suggests 1 month but it’s fine left for shorter time) | Extra prep/time needed to sterilize jars

Ingredients

1/2 lb Cooking Apples (we use Bramley Apples)
1/2 lb Currants
1/2 lb Raisins
1/2 lb Sultanas
4 oz Glacé Cherries
4 oz Chopped Mixed Peel
4 oz Shelled Walnuts
8 oz Shredded Suet
1lb Demerara Sugar
2 level tsp Mixed Spice
4 fl. oz. Brandy (we usually add an extra glug of this 24 hours into the fruit swelling time)

* Buy the best quality dried fruit that you can, it does make a difference. Also if your not a fan of nuts this recipe is perfectly fine without the walnuts. I’m not a nut lover but actually enjoy the walnuts in this recipe.

Method

1.) Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces (I dice them). Finely chop the glacé cherries, I dice these too.

2.) Get a large mixing bowl or even a plastic washing up bowl (just make sure they are  thoroughly clean, we tend to use our dishwasher) and mix in the dried fruits, nuts and apples. Blend in the suet, sugar and spice.

3.) Add enough brandy to give a moist mixture. We basically pour in 4 fl. oz. of brandy into the bowl and mix. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for 48 hours for the fruit to swell. This  is where we, after around 24 hours add a glug more brandy and mix it in and then recover the bowl and leave it for the remaining time.

4.) Stir well and put the mincemeat into clean jars.

How to clean and sterilise jars

We steralise our jars by first washing them, we use a dishwasher but you can do this by hand just make sure you rinse well. Then we put the jars and lids (separately) on a tray and put them in the oven on 100°c for 30 minutes. If you have a jam funnel do this as well, if not don’t worry and just use a clean spoon (don’t add the spoon to the oven) you can always pour boiling water over the spoon before using. You can let them cool down before adding the mincemeat which you can’t do with jam. Just be careful when adding the mincemeat to the jars by minimum touch as your trying to keep it as sterilised as possible. If you are using jars with pop down lids then please note they will not work but this is nothing to worry about (the reason is because the mincemeat is cold when added compared to jam which is hot).

Sage and Onion Stuffing

We love this stuffing, it’s simple to make and tastes delicious. We have enjoyed it with a nice vegan roast but I am sure it would be great used in other ways too. You can even freeze some and defrost when you want it. We think this is a great year round stuffing but we enjoy it especially around Christmas and New Year.

Sage and Onion Stuffing

Serves 4-6 | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 10-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 large onions
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 125g of breadcrumbs
  • 40g Vitalite
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Binding to replace 1 egg (we use 1 tbsp of soya flour mixed with 2-3 tbsp of water)
  • Margarine for frying (we used 10g Vitalite)

Method

1.) Peel and chop the onions finely and then add them to a saucepan with some margarine and sweat them on a low heat until softened. This removes the sharpness from the onions.

2.) Boil a small amount of water in a saucepan and add the sage leaves for about a minute or two then remove from the pan. This takes off the rawness of the sage so it’s not overpowering.

3.) Chop the sage leaves up nice and fine. Get a big bowl and add these along with the chopped onions, breadcrumbs, seasoning and margarine. Work the whole lot together with the binding and you’ll have completed the stuffing.

4.) It should be rather highly seasoned and the sage leaves should be cut very fine.

5.) Cook the stuffing until it’s cooked. The amount of time needed to cook depends on how you cook it, for example if you stuff something with the stuffing it will take longer. On average if you cook on a roasting tray it takes around 15 minutes.

Freezing instructions

To freeze the stuffing make it up to steps 3/4 and then freeze. Defrost before use and then follow step 5 to cook.

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Nutritional Information – per serving (based on 6 servings in total)

Calories: 148  | Total Fat: 5.0 g  Saturated: 1.4 g  Polyunsaturated: 1.8 g  Monounsaturated: 1.6 g  | Sodium: 358.8 mg  | Total Carbs: 20.3 g  Dietary Fibre: 2.7 g  Sugars: 4.9 g  | Protein: 4.3 g | Vitamin A  9.7% | Vitamin C 11.4 % | Calcium 9.4 % | Iron 3.2 %

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Braised Red Cabbage with Apple

We do love a good vegan roast dinner and as we can’t have meat we often look at ways of making a roast dinner even better. Before we only used to make this at Christmas but now its a lovely thing to make more often as it really adds to making a yummy vegan roast dinner. Of course this can be eaten with other meals, not just a roast dinner.

We made this recently so we thought we would share it with you, its a recipe we’ve had for years and needed very little adaption to make it vegan e.g instead of using butter we use a vegan alternative.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apple

Serves 8 (depending on the amount you want really) | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 1 hour 10 minutes approx.

Ingredients

  • 1 small red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 25g Vitalite (Vegan Margarine)
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp redcurrent jelly (we couldn’t source this so we used cranberry jelly instead)

Method

1.) Finely slice the cabbage, discarding the core and any tough pieces. Melt the vitalite in a pan with a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. Cook the onion uncovered for 5 minutes until soft but not browned.

2.) Stir in the spices then add the cabbage, apple, red wine vinegar and sugar plus 100ml cold water. Stir until thoroughly mixed and the sugar has dissolved. Season generously.

3.) Bring to the boil, then cover tightly and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is very tender and the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the redcurrant jelly (or cranberry jelly in our case), allow to melt, then serve.

Tip

If you make this ahead, reheat it in the pan. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of cold water, cover and cook gently over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until piping hot.

Copyright © Waitrose 2003. Adapted slightly by us 2012.